Netherlands one step closer to puppy yoga ban - but will the UK follow soon?

Despite two European governments now vocally condemning the trend, the UK still has not banned the practice of puppy yoga, ITV News Digital Video Producer Sam Leader reports

A Dutch minister will push for an outright ban on the practice of puppy yoga in the Netherlands following Italy's lead, almost a year on from ITV News' investigation into the 'frightening' environment behind the trend.

Puppy yoga, the practice where young dogs roam around your yoga class, was previously adored by celebrities and influencers and became a trend in the UK after gaining popularity in North America.

But an undercover investigation by ITV News found puppies used in the classes were as little as six weeks old, working hours a day without appropriate rest and some didn't even have access to water. The RSPCA told us it was "not to the benefit of the dogs.”

Customers could pay up to £40 per class to spend an hour at the sessions, but the RSPCA and The Kennel Club both said the classes should be banned after seeing our investigation.

An ITV News investigation last year found ‘incredibly concerning and worrying’ environments for puppies at yoga classes.

Now, Pieter Adema, Netherlands' Agriculture Minister says: “It serves no purpose. Puppies are at an early stage of their development, it is important for their behaviour later that they can now rest and sleep a lot.”

Speaking to the Dutch news outlet Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant, Adema added: "I want to say to people who signed up for these kinds of crazy practices: think again. Do you really want this?”

If the law passes young animals would no longer be used during yoga classes. The proposed move comes just a month after Italy banned the practice due to welfare concerns.

Dutch Minister Piet Adema urges consumers to "think again" before booking puppy yoga Credit: AP

In March the Italian news show “Striscia la Notizia” aired an investigation alleging puppies at yoga classes were not being treated correctly and shortly after Italy’s Ministry of Health moved forward with a ban to protect the animals wellbeing.

A similar investigation was also published in The Netherlands.

Despite two European governments now vocally condemning the trend, the UK still has not banned the practice of puppy yoga.

A report published by the EFRA (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) committee acknowledged ITV News' findings but claimed they "do not have any plans to legislate against it", adding "it is very difficult to legislate for stupidity".

However, the EFRA report did say that the practice "is definitely on the radar".

ITV News' visited multiple puppy yoga venues undercover last July to observe classes

Dr Neil Hudson, a veterinary surgeon and parliamentary candidate, told ITV News last month that 'the developments in Italy added weight to the case for banning' puppy yoga in the UK.

The RSPCA previously said; 'Sadly, puppy yoga has gained more traction as time has gone on.'

'We hope the ban on puppy yoga in Italy sends a strong message to anyone considering attending one in this country to stay away.'

Anyone who has concerns about puppy yoga enterprises in their area is urged to contact their local council, the RSPCA advises.

Puppy Yoga Essex in Wickford, operated by The Bully Barn, where ITV News filmed declined to comment on the findings of our investigation in July.

Puppy Yoga Nottingham, Puppy Yoga Liverpool, and Puppy Yoga UK did not respond to our repeated requests for comment which ITV News made in July.

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